Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Despotism and democracy

It would seem that if despotism were to be established among the democratic nations of our days, it might assume a different character; it would be more extensive and more mild; it would degrade men without tormenting them. ....

It covers the surface of society with a net-work of small complicated rules, minute and uniform, through which the most original minds and the most energetic characters cannot penetrate, to rise above the crowd. The will of man is not shattered, but softened, bent, and guided: men are seldom forced by it to act, but they are constantly restrained from acting

[I]t is especially dangerous to enslave men in the minor details of life... Subjection in minor affairs breaks out every day and is felt by the whole community indiscriminately. It does not drive men to resistance, but it crosses them at every turn, till they are led to surrender the exercise of their own will.

-- Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

Found via Mike Flynn's blog

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A perfect description of today's society...

The devil Screwtape:

We direct the fashionable outcry of each generation against those vices of which it is least in danger and fix its approval on the virtue nearest to that vice which we are trying to make endemic. The game is to have them all running about with fire extinguishers whenever there is a flood, and all crowding to that side of the boat which is already nearly gunwale under.

-The Screwtape Letters, C.S. Lewis

Saturday, November 5, 2011

"But while they desire to set aside that true Council, they endeavor to give that name to their own unlawful combination; while they are unwilling that the decrees of the Council should be enforced, they desire to enforce their own decisions; and they use the name of a Council, while they refuse to submit themselves to one so great as this. Thus they care not for Councils, but only pretend to do so in order that they may root out the orthodox".

No, that's not an orthodox Catholic from EWTN commenting on a "spirit of Vatican 2" type (the latter needing to be dealt with by Geistbusters. Heh. :-) . Rather, that is a quote from St. Athanasius's Apologia Contra Arianos dealing, of course, with how the Arians tried to hijack the First Council of Nicea. But since today many try to hijack Vatican 2, I guess that only goes to prove Ecclesiastes 1:10-11 correct.

"What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done; and there is nothing new under the sun. Is there a thing of which it is said, 'See, this is new'? It has been already in the ages before us."

Thursday, November 3, 2011

"What a strange world we moderns have created, where everything is permissible, and nothing is forgivable"

What a strange world we moderns have created, where everything is permissible, and nothing is forgivable

-commenter on Mark Shea's blog a couple of years ago